Official APEC Documents
Action Plan for Sustainability of the Marine Environment
May 1997 – DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
1. APEC and Sustainability of the Marine Environment
APEC Ministers responsible for sustainable development, meeting in July 1996 in the Philippines, identified three principal themes to take action on: sustainable cities, cleaner production and sustainability of the marine environment. The Ministers have underscored that their economies are united by their oceans and seas, and that the health of the marine environment is critical to their continuing economic well-being. At their meeting at Subic Bay in 1996, APEC leaders committed to achieve dramatic progress towards clean oceans and sea in the APEC region.
The Marine Resource Conservation Working Group was invited by Ministers to take leadership in this sector and subsequently developed a Strategy to Address Sustainability of the Marine Environment in APEC. The Strategy responds to the Ministers’ challenge, identifying the elements essential to the long term health of APEC’s oceans and seas. It also recognizes that sustainability of the marine environment is a cross-cutting theme that touches on the interests of many APEC fora together with the private sector, and identifies a process for coordination and collaboration.
1.2 The Action Plan
The Action Plan for Sustainability of the Marine Environment was designed to respond to the Leaders vision of clean oceans and seas, and to provide guidance in setting future direction in achieving this vision in the activities of APEC. This Action Plan elaborates on the goals and activities necessary for APEC to meet its strategic objectives. It establishes mechanisms for coordination, periodic review and updating, and links with other multilateral organizations and institutions, and domestic agencies concerned with sustainability of the marine environment within the region. Finally, it outlines an approach to measuring its success in meeting its objectives by establishing performance standards.
The Action Plan is an evolving guide that will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, to take stock of APEC’s accomplishments and the progressive results of other international initiatives. Activities in progress or planned are described, as well as new endeavors APEC fora should contemplate if member economies are to meet their Leaders’ vision. It is a complex task to flesh out a broad regional program that takes into account the roles, responsibilities and programs of APEC fora, and other international organizations and institutions. This task necessarily involves the other APEC fora, in close cooperation with the private sector, and is identified as one of the first actions to be undertaken.
The APEC Action Plan recognizes that if it fits within an existing framework of international initiatives and programmes. These offer opportunities for collaborative or complementary action that provides new strength in meeting mutual objectives. It is increasingly recognized that global action is best achieved through regional implementation. APEC provides an excellent vehicle to carry out or support such regional programmes, and should actively pursue and promote links with activities in other regional organizations and programs that support of guide its work. APEC can add value to these efforts and make a special contribution through integrating environmental an economic goals in domestic and regional planning; supporting APEC economies in their implementation of treaties and commitments for protection f the marine environment; and engaging the private sector in developing innovative partnerships to address these issues that go beyond traditional governmental and regulatory activities.
The Action Plan is an evolving document that will further elaborate on medium term and long term objectives, and the role and rationale for APEC in addressing these. The Action Plan plays a role in establishing a regional framework for overall achievement of sustainability of the marine environment, and addressing the role of the private sector in meeting APEC’s objectives of marine environment sustainability will be addressed over the next two years.
2.1 Objectives and Tools
The Strategy to Address Sustainability of the Marine Environment within APEC identifies three key objectives:
- Integrated approaches to coastal management
- Prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution
- Sustainable management of marine resources
The Strategy also identifies three central tools that provide the means to achieve these objectives:
- Research, exchange of information, technology and expertise
- Capacity building, training and education
- Public and private sector participation and partnership
The Action Plan focuses on strengthening intra-regional cooperation and collaboration, in order to facilitate the development and implementation of regional programs of action
2.2 Meeting the Objectives
2.2a Integrated approaches to coastal management
1. Implement effective domestic and regional integrated coastal management strategies throughout APEC, incorporating the objectives of the Global Plan of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities
2. Incorporate integrated coastal management goals in domestic and regional economic strategies, as an element of improved commitment to sustainable development at the highest levels
3. Facilitate and catalyze private sector action to contribute to effective management of coastal resources
4. Develop a special focus on the relationship between coastal cities, communities and their marine environment that complements APEC’s concern with sustainable cities
5. Consider fully activities in upland areas inasmuch as these activities affect the coastal environment and planning
6. Promote the application of environmental impact assessment procedures in assessing options.
- Effective integrated coastal management practices incorporated in APEC economies’ domestic environmental management programs
- Coastal environmental and economic goals integrated in domestic and regional planning strategies;
- Successful collaborative ventures addressing problems pertaining to shared waters
2.2b Prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution
1. Prevent, reduce and control marine pollution from land-based sources, vessel-based sources, and offshore sources to achieve clean oceans and seas
Measurable improvement in the quality of the coastal waters of APEC economies, as a result of a comprehensive approach to prevention, reduction and control of pollution APEC economies able to meet obligations or sprit of international agreements and instruments to prevent, reduce and control marine pollution.
2.2.c. Sustainable management of marine resources
1. Substantially reduce marine habitat degradation in order to insure the sustainability of marine resources through effective management and protection of the marine environment
2. Improve assessment, management and exploitation practices to conserve and sustain marine living and non-living resources
2.3 Applying the Tools
2.3a Research, exchange of information technology and expertise
1. Foster individual and collaborative research that supports integrated coastal management; refines knowledge of the sources, impacts and fate of marine pollutants; increases understanding of sensitive and critical habitats in the region; and improves marine resource assessment and management practices
2. Share knowledge and information residing in APEC member economies to support APEC’s objectives in sustainability of the marine environment by developing linked networks that address specific research, coastal and resource management practices, and policy issues.
3. Develop practical measures to expand the base of appropriate technology that supports sustainable management of the region’s marine resources.
4. Promote the development and application of innovative economic instruments for generating necessary revenue and financing in combination with effective monitoring and enforcement of resource and environmental regulations
5. Recognize, support, enhance and share regional expertise as it pertains sustainability of the marine environment
- The rich store among the APEC economies of scientific and technical expertise, and community and traditional knowledge, mobilised to address collaboratively regional problems related to sustainability of the marine environment;
- Regional access to pertinent information to assist in domestic and sub-regional planning and decision- making; and
- Broadened application of technology to support sustainable development of the marine environment.2.3b Capacity Building, education and trainingGoals:
1. Strengthen the human capability of the region, towards a better management f the marine environment
2. Strengthen the human capability of the region, towards a better management of the marine environment
3. Identify existing and potential capabilities, facilities and needs for human resources development and scientific and technical infrastructure
4. Develop and apply tools to translate technical and scientific issues for use of policy makers in decision making
5. Develop and provide tools to engender effective participation in planning and management by local communities and governments, non-governmental organizations, and the business sector.
Strengthen regional human and institutional capability; New approaches developed to both improve decision making at the highest levels, and broaden participation at all levels in integrated coastal and marine management;
2.3c Public and private sector participation and partnership
1. Facilitate and catalyze private sector action to contribute to the effective protection and management of the marine environment, while ensuring the sustained economic contribution of the marine resources to the region’s economic growth and development.
2. Consistently include in components of the APEC Action Plan provision to involve stakeholders, in particular local authorities and communities and relevant social and economic sectors, both public and private; and encourage member economies to strengthen in particular the participation of communities in coastal planning and management.
3. Encourage the recognition of the basic linkages between sustainable management of coastal marine resources, poverty alleviation and protection of the marine environment
4. Encourage community-based participatory approaches in coastal planning and management planning, and in conservation of critical habitats, and develop an integrated policy and decisionmaking process including all sectors, to promote compatibility and a balance of uses
- Communities, business and governments involved collaboratively in action to assure the sustainability of the marine environment
- More equitable participation within communities in coastal and marine planning and management
3. Coordination – Making it Work3.1 Coordination within APEC
Sustainability of the marine environment is a cross-cutting issue that involves the majority of APEC working groups and committees. Implementation of the Action Plan requires formal coordination mechanisms to ensure that APEC ‘s interests on this issue are adequately addressed, that there is not duplication of effort and that, were appropriate, collaborative efforts among APEC fora are undertaken.
In order to implement the Leader’s directive in pursuing sustainable development in APEC, the MRC WG will undertake to coordinate activities on sustainability of the marine environment in collaboration with initiatives in cleaner production and sustainable cities.
The MRC WG will undertake to bring to the attention of the Lead Shepherds of APEC fora and the SOM issues of ongoing coordination of the overall APEC work program on marine environmental issues and work with them in recommending priorities and updating the Action Plan to reflect the commitments and priorities of each forum. In response to the invitation of the Environment Ministers to the MRC WG to address the overall issues, the MRC WG requests that they describe a mechanism for formal coordination of APEC’s activity of implementation of issues of sustainable development. The MRC WG also requests the SOM and SEOM to ensure that the mechanism proposed will provide adequate attention to marine issues.
The MRC WG will also seek effective approaches to strengthening the coordination between action on sustainability of the marine environment and the other APEC priority areas including sustainable cities, especially coastal cities, and cleaner production. The role of the Lead Shepherds in coordinating and implementing the Action is absolutely critical in ensuring its success.
3.2 Links with other International Organizations and Institutions
It is critical for the success of APEC action on sustainability of the marine environment for APEC to actively promote and pursue links with activities being undertaken in other regional organizations and programs, which support, or guide the work of APEC. As an example, the Regional Seas Programmes of UNEP, such as the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), have been designated as the regional implementation mechanism for the GPA and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). These offer areas of collaboration that could improve the efficiency of all these programs, including APEC, in meeting their objectives. With this diversity of efforts, APEC offers the opportunity to institutionalize regional collaboration and cooperation without duplication.
A designated official (the Lead or designated Shepherd of the MRC WG) will be responsible for establishing and maintaining links with other multilateral organizations and institutions concerned with sustainability of the marine environment in the Asia-Pacific region, to ensure that international efforts are coordinated and mutually supportive, and reporting on progress to the MRC WG and to Senior Environment and Economic Officials. Specific approaches will vary depending on the organization involved, but could include exchanging information, participating in meetings as guests, holding periodic meetings of principal officials of organizations and institutions (as recommended by the MRC WG ad hoc meeting on intra-regional pacific marine affairs cooperation in October 1995), and identifying opportunities for APEC in the development of joint projects. In developing relationships with other organizations the guidelines and policies of APEC in this regard will be followed.
4. Performance Review
At the July 1996 Sustainable Development Ministerial, Ministers directed Senior Officials to annually review sustainable development activities in APEC. The APEC Secretariat is also tasked to prepare an annual report on those activities, and the Senior Environmental and Economic Officials and Lead Shepherds can provide additional coordination and guidance.
The Marine Resource Conservation Working Group should be actively involved in the deliberations on Sustainability of the Marine Environment that take place in the Senior Official Meetings and Senior Environmental and Economic Officials Meetings. The MRC WG, in consultation with the other relevant APEC fora, will undertake to evaluate progress towards achieving sustainability of the marine environment. The WG will also report regularly on APEC’s performance on this issue, its progress and the coordination among APEC fora, to the Senior Officials and Senior Environmental and Economic Officials for their action.
5. Next Steps
To effectively implement the objectives of the Action Plan and achieve sustainability of the marine environment in the APEC Region, the following steps should be undertaken:
- define, strengthen and refine on the basis of outcomes of the Sustainable Development Ministerial meeting, coordination mechanisms between SOM, SEOM and Sustainable Development Ministers, in particular those related to marine issues;
- develop, strengthen and refine coordination mechanisms between Working Groups;
- update current and planned projects outlines in Appendix 1 of the Action Plan to incorporate all relevant activities and projects of all APEC Working Groups;
- define and set priorities on the specific actions needed to achieve the objectives of the Action Plan, including among others, who does what by when and with what resources; and
- establish and maintain linkages with the existing activities of other fora outside APEC to integrate effort in order to collectively and collaboratively achieve the objectives of sustainability of the marine environment.